Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts

Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts Fast Forwarding the Future

Image of student behind projection and cinematic lights.

The Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts will be an exciting new program that creatively fuses virtual production with performative experiences across film; theatre and live stage performance; gaming, interactive media, broadcast and internet media; and augmented and virtual reality.

About Us

The Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts is a $57 million investment by the University that will be focused on interdisciplinary learning, creativity and research in emerging media located within the Johnny Carson School for Theatre and Film at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. It is made possible by a recent $20 million investment by the Johnny Carson Foundation.

The Johnny Carson Center will be an internationally distinct program in film and emerging media that explores the boundaries of where cinematic narrative and storytelling intersects with science, the humanities, computer science, engineering, music, fine arts and other disciplines.

The Johnny Carson Center will create new opportunities for students to expand their knowledge of today’s emerging media art forms that are positioned at the intersection of film, design, computational technologies and commerce.

Graduates who complete coursework in the program will be prepared with media arts skills that can be used in various professions, including filmmaking, game design, television production, theater, advertising, social media, business, architecture, science, education and agriculture, among others.

Courses and curriculum are being developed, and students are expected to begin enrolling in fall 2019. The center will be at 1300 Q St. and is scheduled to be completed by fall 2019.

Virtual Production

Virtual production is a rapidly changing new field of study that is still being defined. As a result, virtual production plays an increasingly crucial role in both traditional film and visual storytelling in film and in a variety of emerging media fields. It is altering the way films are created and enabling new kinds of storytelling across a variety of emerging media.

A good story is the starting point in virtual production development, just as it is in film and theatre. A good story creates the world from which all other aspects of the virtual production process flow.

The virtual production process begins at the ideation stage and continues through the writing, production and distribution phases. It has the potential to pervade all aspects of the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film from live theatrical performance, to design, technical production, film and emerging media.

At the Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts, students will learn how to create virtual environments for electronic and mobile game environments and for visual effects and design for film and broadcast television. They will explore how virtual and augmented reality can overlay the live experience through the use of head mounted displays, augmented reality on mobile phones and future technologies. They will learn how to transfer data from a live performer and use it to control and manipulate imagery and media such as projections, animated characters and virtual actors.

These new technologies are changing the way stories are told and visualized across an array of media platforms and can be applied transdisciplinarily for uses in the medical, science, architectural, journalism and educational fields, to name just a few.

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How to Reach Us

Media Inquiries and other questions about the Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts

Kathe Andersen, Publications Coordinator,

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